The British and Philippine governments are joining forces to combat visa fraud, the UK Border Agency has announced.
UK Border Agency will work closely with banks in the Philippines to develop an electronic verification system that will help to crack down on fraudulent visa applications.
False and fake banking documentation accounts for more than one-fifth of all fraud encountered in Philippine applications for visa applications to come to the UK. The new system, which will be managed by the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), will enable bank documents to be checked more quickly, efficiently and accurately.
On 7 December, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by British Ambassador Stephen Lillie, BAP operations committee chairman Ricardo Balbido Jr and Ed Mackie, UK Border Agency regional manager for north-east Asia and Australasia.
Stephen Lillie said:
‘We welcome this landmark co-operation between the British Embassy and the BAP to continue the UK government’s wider fight against visa fraud and forgery in the Philippines.’
Ed Mackie added:
‘The UK Border Agency has already provided the BAP with the hardware [server and peripherals], and we are covering the software development costs. The BAP are covering the maintenance and running costs of the system.
‘The new system will enable us to detect even more quickly those who seek to cheat our system by providing false banking documents.’
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